Are you educated? What do you know? How do you measure what you know? Do others think you are educated? Why do they think that? What makes them authorities? How long does it take to become educated? What is the purpose of education? These are but a few questions to consider while learning, or teaching. While those answers can be answered a number of ways all correct, some correct some incorrect, or all incorrect, by whose standards are they being calibrated?
Our ignorance is unavoidable. Education is an unreachable goal, so distant that its importance is not the impossible goal of its achievement. Its importance is in the direction it lies. Hidden in education lie diversions that cloud the path to improving humanity, but education scribes the instructions for improving civility. It provides directions for making individual lives, communities, and the whole of humanity kinder, and more competent. Humanity is enhanced not by what we know, but what we are trying to achieve. That achievement requires learning, and the report card describes the harm avoided, and the benefit achieved.
What are you trying to achieve? Are you learning how to achieve it? Was it your idea? Why do you want to achieve this particular thing? Is achieving more, better, or is achieving better, more?
Upon achieving a certain goal how will I, my community, and the entirety of humanity be affected? How will I, my community, and all of humanity be affected by failing to achieve this goal?
Education has a starting spot, and a single direction that it always travels. It starts with life. Of course, to be educated a person must live, and the purpose of education is to learn how to continue living, not just you individually, but everybody, humanity. Not just people, but the environment that sustains the natural forces that surround them must also survive. Education is a natural resource that can be used to learn how to protect life, and extend its significance. Failing to use it properly is as harmful as poisoning the environment that sustains us. In fact educational failure is a toxicity that poisons us. It changes who we are. It controls what we do, if we can exist, or if we really care to exist. Of course there are things that can be learned that counter achievement, things that can cause failure, or no progress. Learning those is not educational. Education cannot stop people from being stupid, or mean, but commencing to give it demonstrable accreditation would make stupidity an increasingly unusual behavior, with buffers to shield populations from some of its harmful results.
Who wants to demean life? Anger, suspicion, and distrust have historically coupled themselves with ignorance to bring down the human race. So called educated people have plied what they superstitiously thought to be an education. They achieved nothing. They caused harm. Even those who survived became less. Dividing humanity against itself slides back both the quality of life, and the ability to sustain it. Education is an economic tool. Something is educational if it teaches how to serve and protect humanity. Otherwise, it is not educational. Other lessons are directions for failure, without warning labels. Learning things that are either not productive, or harmful, waste opportunities to become more. Superstition labels failed concepts as knowledge, when they clearly are not. Knowledge tolerates scrutiny, and people thrive on its use.
Education advances knowledge. It provides the directions for serving, and protecting humanity in a sustainable manner. How can we provide peace and wellbeing? History is the grade book. Poverty, war and injustice are the failing grades. Disappointment, depression, and despair are incomplete studies. What we call educational institutions, our schools, fail because they have yet to identify what education is. Educational certification, as it exists, is mysticism. Its purpose remains unidentified, as these institutions continue to give lessons to become incompetent at being kind, and to be unkind at becoming competent.
War has never caused peace. We share one environment across generations. Bureaucracy causes people to sacrifice other people, and other generations, for their short term myopic survival. People follow illegitimate power, both for their own protection, and as a way to seek happiness in an environment that, in the long run cannot support it, or them. Opaque power structures cause a lack of direction, and therefore trust. People are neither good, or evil, and none of these things are moral issues. They are economic failures. They are economic failures because educational failure has provided insufficient instructions for civility.
Many of the world’s cultures have described the direction of education. They have described the source of wisdom. The only possible way to receive certification for possessing that said wisdom, is to apply it to the betterment of humanity. Either God, or nature writes the certification in our being, where it can be appreciated, and felt by all, and it extends for periods that far outlive individual life spans.
Whether we are one people with one God, or one people that share natures bounty, is irrelevant. We can learn how to care for, and protect each other. We can create a better future. In fact, continuing the archaic policy of failure is as depressing as it is stupid. Is this our gift to the future? Can’t we create something better than war and injustice. Is the purpose of life to rob the vulnerable of this generation, and create more intense vulnerability for future generations? What are the credentials of those who encourage us to be subhuman beings? Can they provide evidence that war, injustice, and despair merit passing grades for a system that is digging a grave for human life, incinerating the body of humanity in the hole?
We possess, as nature’s gift, the ability to learn. If we choose, as previous generations have chosen, not to use the opportunity, we loose the gift. In which case, other human beings will never know the humanity that only we could have bestowed on them, nor shall we experience the humanity that only they could bestow on us.